The Weber State University volleyball team was looking to start its four-game road trip off in style, but Montana State University had other ideas. The Bobcats swept the Wildcats in straight sets on Friday night (25-14, 25-23, 25-15) in a match that lasted just 82 minutes.
The Wildcats dropped their overall season record to 7-22, with a record of 3-12 in Big Sky Conference play.
In a match that only saw the Wildcats get 23 kills and hit .036, they also didn’t have a player with more than 10 kills. Rebecca Fuchs led the team in kills, accounting for seven kills, seven digs and three blocks, hitting .158. No other Wildcat accounted for more than four. Megan Bean had five blocks and Katie Harvey had four for the Wildcats.
Ball control has been an emphasis for the Wildcats this year, and a lot of their matches have been dictated by that. They struggled with it against the Bobcats, which led to them falling behind early in the first and third set.
Coach Tom Peterson once again emphasized that the team will only be as good as their ball control.
“We got off to such a bad start, got behind by six and seven in the first and third set,” Peterson said. “Against a decent team, you can’t give them that kind of lead and expect to come back all the time.”
In the second set, the Wildcats didn’t give the Bobcats an inch, as they were able to get their offense going and rely on their ability to block. Bean and Fuchs both controlled the net, keeping the set close with back-to-back blocks.
Harvey brought the heat with her serve as she forced the Bobcats to call a timeout after back-to-back aces, giving the Wildcats a 17-16 lead.
The Wildcats didn’t quit after letting the Bobcats go on a short run. Wildcats Audrey Biggs and Shanae Burgin evened the set with consecutive kills. But the Bobcats pulled away, scoring five of the next eight points to win the crucial second set.
“The team will have hard games, but you can’t let that carry over to the next match and the rest of the year,” Biggs said. “Once again, ball control is something that we know we have to do better if we are going to finish the season on a strong note. (We’re) letting tonight go because there is nothing else we can do about it. We can’t let the losses define the outcome for the game tomorrow and the rest of the year. All around, we didn’t have good ball control. I had an off night. It happens every now and again.”
Peterson said he doesn’t know all the answers of how to help the team have consistent ball control, but sticking to the routine will be the best remedy as they try to work through the adversity.
“You can’t just change after a bad loss; you have to stick with what you have done before,” he said. “We have to have confidence that we are a good team. That escapes us sometimes.”
The Wildcats will stay on the road as they take on Idaho State University on Wednesday and California State University, Sacramento on Saturday.